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Hate your job?

September 13, 2009

Check this out – these guys pick thru garbage a-l-l d-a-y l-o-n-g. Please remember it is well over 100 degrees here and very humid.


India actually has an amazing recycling program. Many, many people will pick thru your garbage to find anything useful. There is someone who takes out the cans, someone else who takes out the cardboard, someone else who takes out the glass. So all that is left really is garbage.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2009 2:56 pm

    Why don’t people in India just burn their trash? I know it may not be environmentally good, but in many 3rd world countries it’s really a better option than having trash lying around everywhere.

    I still hate my job. At least those Indian trash pickers are working for themselves & being entrepreneurial. No nasty boss to deal with, just do your thing on your own.

  2. September 16, 2009 11:55 pm

    My husband is an Environmental Engineer, and he says that the only real way for recycling programs to work is to pay to have people sort through trash–maybe India is one up on the world.

  3. Sharmishtha permalink
    September 16, 2009 8:01 pm

    Oh, and this will be my last comment on your blog, AR2W. Love the blog but alas, all your wonderful pictures create quite a strain on my aging computer, you should hear it groan and moan as it downloads your pics. So won’t be visiting till I get another computer (or maybe occasionally at work, heh-heh). Bye, and have a good blog life.

  4. Sharmishtha permalink
    September 16, 2009 7:29 pm

    It is funny how differently an outsider’s eye can look at things. Bhai Akbar with the mobile phone probably sees himself as a rather clever small businessman running a recycling business, getting stuff for free from the municipal garbage heap (probably supplementing all the stuff he has to pay people for when he goes around collecting kabaadi – has the kabaadiwallah visited you yet, AR2W, to buy your recyclabes like newspapers and bottles? Probably not, with your fearsome guards). And now he and his family feature as the poster children for dirt-poor starvation. Not that they are millionaires but somehow one has to develop an eye to differentiate who really is starving and who is not. The kids around the traffic light – probably yes, also exploited by the beggars’ mafia. Bhai Akbar? I don’t know…

  5. September 14, 2009 10:03 pm

    And you know one thing that everyone might have missed in that picture was the most prominent and shining example of technology breaking through the class barrier-

    Can you see Akbar (ofcourse in Hindi) written on down left side of the photo……the guy apparantely carries a cellphone bearing number 9211334918…..Isn’t this amazing?

    People finding any fault with this might want to reconsider their thoughts- yes it is not the best of the jobs but at the same time, these very jobs do help them to aspire and realise their aspirations- even if it is about owning a mobile phone!

    Last but not the least, must say that this post was very thoughtful…..excellent!

    • September 15, 2009 1:02 am

      Thanks for pointing that out about the number – I would have never seen that.

  6. September 14, 2009 7:07 pm

    Looks like NY’s homeless people, same task, same reason…

    Nice photo!

  7. September 14, 2009 3:02 pm

    Yuck!! I still hate my job, though.

  8. September 14, 2009 11:16 am


  9. lin permalink
    September 14, 2009 5:12 am

    Isn’t it awful/inhumane? Delhites are too lazy to even consider sorting their own trash. There are even NGOs who will come to the office to pick up recyclables – for free – but the office staff can’t manage to find time for it. I hear the recycling in our home capitol isn’t so modern either. The worst is the little kids picking through the trash and playing with batteries. Ugh. Look at all the plastic in there. I believe India has a chance now, while the cost of labor is so low, to set up a proper recycling facility. It would be a far better use of money than the silly fake jobs programs like the guys ripping out and replanting the same grass in the public gardens, over and over, and over. Ditto for the painting of the park fences (over and over and over).

    • September 15, 2009 1:00 am

      I am amazed at how the unofficial recycling works here – in many ways it might be more effective than the traditional way of doing it. It is very hard to see the children digging through trash – that is for sure!

  10. @eloh permalink
    September 13, 2009 10:35 pm

    I hope their shots are up to date!

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